Suplementos de El Comercio
Club El Comercio
FECHA 25/04/18
HORA 11:04 (GMT-5)


¿Por qu cay Gutirrez?

Anlisis iniciales del derrocamiento de  Gutirrez en el Ecuador en la prensa de Estados Unidos y en otros sitios se basan en comparaciones fciles, pero erradas entre Ecuador y Venezuela y Bolivia. A lo mucho, en uno de los dos, Gutirrez o Palacio, est el Chvez del Ecuador.

De hecho, poco se puede entender de lo ocurrido en Ecuador con estas comparaciones. 

La cada de Gutirrez fue el resultado de un complejo juego de intereses y acciones, pero los factores cruciales fueron: los repetidos tontos, tcticos errores de Gutirrez y su gobierno tramados por lites polticas tradicionales, especialmente los social cristianos con Febres Cordero y la Izquierda Democrtica para sacar al intruso y retomar control del gobierno y, finalmente, la frustracin de la clase media de Quito por las acciones negativas de las lites polticas combinado con su miedo a los marginados de la costa.


De hecho, la cada de Gutirrez es el pico del ciclo poltico establecido que consiste en elecciones cada cuatro años y destitucin del presidente electo a la mitad del perodo.

id: 31492
date: 4/26/2005 14:10
refid: 05QUITO919
origin: Embassy Quito
classification: CONFIDENTIAL
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.


Police and Military Step Down, and Up



27.  (C) Police Chief Jorge Poveda announced his resignation
at mid-day on April 21, suggesting that he could no longer
defend the regime.  Police presence on the streets began to
thin.  Left with the prospect of facing the crowds
themselves, the military high command decided the situation
was no longer tenable and that they would withdraw support
from Gutierrez.  They considered installing a junta of
civilians and called the Ambassador to make that proposal.

She told them absolutely not.  It would be a military coup,
and suggested they go back to Gutierrez and try one more time
to find a solution.  At about noon, the military announced
that it could no longer support Gutierrez.  Congress voted
shortly afterward to remove Gutierrez on the grounds that he
had abandoned his position as constitutional president some
four months previously when he acquiesced in Congress' own
removal of the Supreme Court, thereby becoming a "dictator."

All that was left was for Gutierrez to flee the President
Palace, which he did shortly.



28.  (U) This story obviously doesn't end here.  In fact, it
hasn't ended yet.  But the story to date does allow one to
draw certain conclusions about what happened and what did not
happen in Ecuador.  Among the most prominent are the

Ecuador Is Not Bolivia

29.  (C) The indigenous played only a bit part in the fall of
Gutierrez.  Rather than a force to be reckoned with, the
indigenous appear to have peaked in their political power and
influence with the election of Gutierrez.  They may well
recover with time and again play an important role, but for
the time being, they are a politically marginal force.
Ecuador Is Not Venezuela,
Though Chavez Will Seek to Exploit the Chaos
30.  (C) Some analysts have attempted to draw parallels with
Chavez, both for Gutierrez and for Palacio.  Any similarities
are superficial.  With some success with the lower classes,
Gutierrez portrayed his survival as a class struggle, with
the corrupt political and economic elites fighting to regain
absolute control.  In fact, the change in government was very
Ecuadorian in nature, and neither Gutierrez nor Palacio is in
any real sense a Chavez figure.  Although Radio La Luna, the
indigenous, and the radicals such as the MPD have Venezuela
connections, the overthrow of Gutierrez was mostly the making
of the Quito middle class and business class, the ID and the
PSC.  In fact, the makeup of the demonstrations and the way
in which the overthrow was carried out were both quite
similar to the overthrow of Abdala Bucaram eight years ago.

In the end, this was the middle class of Quito acting on its
fear of the coastal rabble.  Bucaram represented that coastal
rabble in both overthrows, this time with his return, and the
busloads of costenos may have been the most important trigger
for immediate action.

The Old Politicos: Back in the Saddle Again


31.  (C) Many of our contacts, life-long top notch conspiracy
theorists, are concluding that the overthrow of Gutierrez
was, in effect, orchestrated by the two major political
parties, the ID and PSC, and especially by LFC and the Social
Christians.  While we do not see LFC pulling the strings
behind Radio La Luna and the MPD trouble makers like some of
them do, it is clear that the old politicos have been
scheming, and Palacio with them, on and off throughout
Gutierrez' presidency and constantly since mid-2004.  It is
also clear that they are the big winners, with Palacio
appointing numerous ID and PSC-connected  politicos to
positions already (though some effort is being made to find
people who do not have formal affiliations to any political
party).  That said, the gain may be temporary.  The disgust
felt by the forajidos, and their new-found sense of power,
may manifest itself again if they feel they have ousted
Gutierrez only to bring the old politicos back to power.
The Sad, Sad Story of Ecuador
32.  (C) In the final analysis, the overthrow of Gutierrez is
nothing more than the end of one more political cycle in
Ecuador.  Presidents of Ecuador are elected to be overthrown,
and the great majority of them meet that fate.  Since
government officials enter office knowing that they will be
there for a very short time, and then might well be forced
into exile, it should surprise no one (and certainly no
Ecuadorian is ever surprised by this) that most of them steal
everything they can get their hands on while they are in
power.  Most political parties in Ecuador have no
recognizable or consistent political philosophy, and those
which do, are consistently leftist.  Parties, rather, exist
to distribute patronage.  Ecuador, a country rich in natural
resources, will remain desperately poor until and unless it
can break out of its self destructive cycles of political

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